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LinkedIn launches new Matched Audiences feature and new ABM options [@SmartInsights Alert]

Author's avatar By Robert Allen 27 Apr, 2017
Essential Essential topic

Are LinkedIn's new features the most effective B2B ad product on the market?

This week has seen the launch of two powerful new B2B advertising products from LinkedIn. Both have the potential to help B2B advertisers get far more benefit from the business-focused social network.

LinkedIn Matched Audiences

Matching audiences to email addresses is one way to re-target people who you know are interested in your product (because they've given you their address). Facebook, Twitter and Google already have options to re-target audiences based on email address.

The idea is you upload the list of your customer's email addresses, and then the ad network matches these addresses to the people on its database, so you can serve ads to those exact people. This is a great tactic for B2B because the long, complex selling process for big ticket purchases often involves signing up to research and white papers and then comparing several different providers. Advertising to these people is critical as it keeps your brand at the top of their mind.

These should be people that are the most cost effective to target because they already know your brand and have expressed a willingness to receive communications with you by giving you their email address. Sounds great in theory, but in practice, it tends not to be so effective for one simple reason. People sign up for B2B downloads or mailing lists with their work email address, not their personal email address. But the email address people have associated with their Facebook and Twitter accounts aren't their work email addresses, they are their personal addresses, so they don't match. The system then misses these people, which make up the vast majority of Facebook, Twitter and Google users. Usually, 85% of email addresses added to Facebook's email matching ad product won't be successfully matched to a Facebook account.

This is where LinkedIn has a huge edge. People do use their work email addresses with their LinkedIn accounts, so re-targeting these people on LinkedIn will be far more effective. Whilst you can expect to be matching 15% of your database on Facebook or Twitter, on LinkedIn the figure will be around the 75% mark.

It's not just re-targeting that makes LinkedIn's new matched audiences a useful tool. You can also use to it get better value from your LinkedIn ads. If you're running demand generation ads on LinkedIn, you don't want to be serving them to people that are already leads, as they are already in your system to contact. Any clicks from these people are just a waste of money. So if you upload the emails of your leads to LinkedIn and then exclude them from your demand generation campaigns, you can stop yourself from serving your content to these people.

Account Based Marketing (ABM) Ads

Along with Matched Audience, LinkedIn launched it's new ABM feature for its ad product this week. You can now upload .CSVs of up to 300,000 companies to target. So if you sell a big enterprise solution, you can now easily target fortune 1000 companies so you're not paying for ads to be seen by the owner of a florist who isn't going to buy your all singing all dancing software in a month of Sundays. This feature opens up a range of new tactics which can make your LinkedIn far more effective. First of all, you can more effectively target the businesses that have been on your radar or the radar of your sales team. Get your staff to draw up lists of companies they know they'd want to win as clients and then add them to the accounts list to target.

You can also use the feature to exclude your competitors from all your LinkedIn ads, so your not wasting money getting impressions from competitors. This had the added benefit of preventing your competitors from knowing what you're doing with LinkedIn ads, giving you a valuable edge. You can also save money by adding all your clients into an ABM audience and exclude them from all campaigns that don't involve up-selling. This again lets you save money by not paying for impressions/clicks from those who you already work with.


Author's avatar

By Robert Allen

I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.

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